tractor trailer ACCIDENTS

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The right legal team makes all the difference.

A crash with a tractor trailer or semitruck is a worst nightmare for most drivers. Given that they almost always occur with smaller vehicles, the resulting injuries can be catastrophic. These types of car accidents are unfortunately far too common throughout North Carolina, particularly in Charlotte and the surrounding areas. Both I-85 and I-77 in Mecklenburg County serve as major trucking routes and usually involve congested traffic and high speeds. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a tractor trailer or semitruck accident, contact one of the experienced personal injury attorneys at Plumides, Romano & Johnson, PC as soon as possible so that we can fight for your livelihood and dignity. The attorneys PRJ Law provide free consultations for these types of cases.

What should I do after a tractor trailer crash?

The most important thing straightaway is to receive a medical evaluation and the treatment you need. If paramedics arrive on scene and recommend that you go to the hospital, follow this advice. Oftentimes people don’t feel the full extent of their injuries because of adrenaline or shock. Creating a medical record, receiving comprehensive care (go to that knee or brain specialist if you’re advised to!) and following treatment orders all demonstrate that you were injured in the accident and what your losses are.

It’s important to not provide a recorded statement to any insurance claim adjusters before you speak to a personal injury attorney about your case. Adjusters may begin contacting you but you are under no obligation to speak with them immediately.

When individuals are unrepresented by counsel, insurance companies are notorious for trying to convince people to settle for low amounts and as quickly as possible.

Signing a settlement agreement—even if you do so without an attorney representing you— means that you no longer have the ability to take the case to trial, or try to get the insurance company to end up giving you a higher amount. Settlement agreements are final. This is why it is critical to have the help of an attorney skilled in negotiating such matters with insurance companies, and with aggressive trial tactics should the matter proceed to trial.

Determining who is at fault is the first legal issue to be determined. If the truck driver was driving negligently, this generally means that they will be the one at fault. Just because they were not cited with a traffic citation or criminal offense doesn’t necessarily mean that they were not at fault.


How long do I have to file?

You legally have three years from the date of the accident to file a claim. However, it is highly inadvisable to wait anywhere close to this long. Speak to an attorney as soon as you are able after the accident. Key evidence will need to be gathered that may otherwise be lost as time goes by: potential witnesses will need to be interviewed, a traffic reconstruction specialist may need to be hired, and you will need to track whatever kinds of medical and/or psychiatric care you had to receive.


How do tractor trailer accidents differ from “regular” automobile accidents?

The right legal team makes all the difference.

Besides the much higher likelihood of physical injury, a key difference in tractor trailer accidents is that they almost always involve a commercial vehicle. Instead of negotiating with an individual’s opposing insurance company and their policy limits, you’ll (usually) be up against a corporation’s commercial insurance company. This can be both a good and bad thing: commercial truck policies typically have much higher policy limits, meaning that the monetary amount they may have to pay out to an injured party is much higher! However, the downside of this is the simple fact that you’ll be up against a corporation’s insurance company and all their resources when they try to convince you to settle for an initial amount. This makes it even more critical to have an experienced, forceful attorney represent you who will not back down against the corporate insurance company.


How do tractor trailer accidents differ from “regular” automobile accidents?

Understanding How Settlements work Is Important

The larger assets companies have to pay off crash settlements and trial verdicts aside, the types of damages you can receive in a tractor trailer accident are the same as most other personal injury cases. A tractor trailer collision victim is entitled to receive:

  • Economic damages: These cover items such as your medical bills, property damage (to your vehicle and belongings inside), and lost income for time you were unable to work.
  • Non-economic damages: Commonly referred to as “pain and suffering” damages, these serve to compensate you for any trauma you suffered from the accident (which can often be a drawn-out, ongoing burden) and any loss of enjoyment of life you suffer as a result of the accident.
  • Punitive damages: These are intended to punish a defendant for egregiously reckless or intentional acts, and to send a message to society as a whole to deter such behavior. This type of damages is not frequently awarded in tractor trailer accidents, but it does happen.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a collision with a tractor trailer or semiautomatic truck, reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney who will examine your potential claims and fight for your best interests.